So, full confession: We haven't gotten through the Oscars telecast yet. The show was blacked out for the St. Louis market on ABC's streaming app FOR REASONS and the antenna was misbehaving on ABC only, possibly in stark protest to the insanity of blocking out St. Louis during the Oscars. You really didn't want us cheering St. Louis Superman, did you?
So now it's on streaming, but there simply haven't been enough consecutive hours where the CultureGeeks could get together to watch it. We've seen the bonkers opening number and the first hour of awards, and cheers to Idina Menzel and the International Elsas for a kickass performance from a movie that should have been nominated.
(Ian Smith wishes to register his disagreement, as he is a Toy Story baby and was all in for Woody and Buzz's final adventure, while Elizabeth Donald is solidly of the belief that Frozen 2 was an absolute masterpiece in art and beauty as well as some truly nifty character moments and I've gotten off track.)
Instead, then, we will offer thoughts on best picture from our resident filmmaker, Rahul Menon, who has been caping for Parasite since he first saw it - and was the first to recognize it could make history as the first foreign film to win best picture. -- ekd
Ever since I watched Parasite for the first time back in October, I have been in love with it and raving about it to pretty much every single person I meet. My friends, my colleagues, my teachers... I even had a 30-minute conversation with a random stranger I met in Los Angeles, while waiting for my food in front of a food truck!
It feels like I've personally been on a campaign for 기생충 for the last few months! From watching the movie for the first time, to meeting writer-director Bong Joon Ho for a brief, minute long conversation at the Golden Globes Symposium in LA, to randomly stumbling upon a rep at a party, that started a 2 month long conversation with its American distributors - Neon, the South Korean producers - CJ Entertainment, and representatives of Mr. Bong Joon Ho.
This eventually led to the Film Society of SIUE bringing the movie to our campus for a screening, making it the first-ever free university screening that happened outside of a film school, the first such screening outside of New York and Los Angeles, and something that I'm personally proud of: a screening personally approved by Bong Joon Ho.
To see him get on that stage and win those four deserving Oscars was so satisfying. He tied with Walt Disney for most number of Oscars won on a single night!
His reaction and speech after he won best director is what being a film lover is all about. When he noticed Martin Scorsese giving him a standing ovation, he couldn't contain his joy at being nominated with him, and mentioned that Scorsese was someone he studied while in film school. He asked everyone to give Martin Scorsese a standing ovation; now that's pure fanboy love right there!
He then shouted out "When no one knew me and my movies, Quentin Tarantino put my movies on his list, Quentin, I love you!"
Bong Joon Ho, you deserve all four of those Oscars you won today, you deserve the standing ovation those 3,400 people gave you. They say you should never meet your heroes, but meeting you for those 60 secs is something I'll cherish forever. Till we meet again, "Respect!"
• The Oscars has a diversity problem. (Which... duh, but it's a good analysis nonetheless.)
Rahul Menon was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and currently lives in Illinois. He is an assistant director, screenwriter and occasional actor, as well as a computer science engineer who worked as a software analyst and in advertising and marketing prior to entering the film industry. His screen debut was as screenwriter and assistant director of Saayanna Varthakal (Evening News) in 2018. He is currently pursuing a masters degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Facebook, Instagram, IMDB.
Elizabeth Donald is a freelance journalist, editor, author, photographer, grad student and instructor, as well as the editor of CultureGeek. In her spare time, she has no spare time. Find out more at donaldmedia.com.